Things That Don't Suck
, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.
I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.
[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Aug 19, 2014 -
"Certainly, there appears to be a large correlation between artists and depression. But I would argue that artistic expression is not a symptom of depression so much as a response to it. I see writing as an act of resistance against an occupying enemy who means to kill me. It’s why I’m writing this now." YA author Libba Bray on living with depression.
posted by changeling
on Mar 6, 2014 -
If “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention? Or would this novel (which I loved) have been relegated to “Women’s Fiction,” that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated? Certainly “The Marriage Plot,” Eugenides’s first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Middlesex,” was poised to receive tremendous literary interest regardless of subject matter, but the presence of a female protagonist, the gracefulness, the sometimes nostalgic tone and the relationship-heavy nature of the book only highlight the fact that many first-rate books by women and about women’s lives never find a way to escape “Women’s Fiction” and make the leap onto the upper shelf where certain books, most of them written by men (and, yes, some women — more about them later), are prominently displayed and admired.
So begins The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women
, an essay in the New York Times by novelist Meg Wolitzer. She was interviewed about her essay in the NYT Book Review podcast
(mp3 link, interview starts at about 18:30). Wolitzer references the classic 1998 essay by Francine Prose, Scent of a woman's ink: Are women writers really inferior?
, and further back in time you find Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own
, which, as literary critic Ruth Franklin notes
, still sounds fresh today.
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 4, 2012 -
"You never hear, “Famous author Neil Gaiman caught with seven stewardesses in a Wichita bus depot.”
Chuck Wendig says, "We need literary rock star heroes to swoop in and save publishing."
Well, perhaps... But can you picture this?
"The authorial world demands this. And we’re not talking about some little Twitter snit, some online battle oozing across a handful of Livejournal comments. It’s not enough for Stephen King to talk to Entertainment Weekly and be all like, “Well, Stephenie Meyer is no J.K. Rowling, pfft.” I’m talking, Terry Pratchett needs to go and take a shit in Dan Brown’s mailbox."
posted by jenfullmoon
on Jul 30, 2011 -
is a lovely, low key site that interviews authors in a down to earth fashion that you normally don't see. The whole approach is wonderfully refreshing and endlessly fascinating.
posted by milkwood
on May 15, 2007 -
Star Trek: Voyager fanfiction.
For years, people have asked themselves, what would happen if certain crewmembers hooked up? Endless combinations have been thought out and pondered, but perhaps the most popular of all, Janeway and Seven of Nine, has been given the full treatment here. Possibly not safe for work (especially the "R" rated stories), because you could be carried out as you laugh yourself to death. A look into the bizarre and often highly amusing world of fanfiction.
posted by insomnyuk
on Oct 19, 2003 -
William Gibson now on William Gibson then. Yep, that is indeed me, though nothing I'm saying there, at such painful length, is even remotely genuine. They were offering $500 for someone to monologue about the summer of lurve, etc., and I was (1) somewhat articulate, and (2) wanted desperately to get my ass out of Yorkville ... $500 was serious money
posted by delmoi
on May 1, 2003 -
An Exercise in Identity
A group of writers seeks to collaborate under a single pseudonym, not for fear of scorn or ridicule, but presumably because they think it makes for better business. Do readers have a right to know who a work's author really is, or can identity just be another aspect of the fictional work? (via Kuro5hin queue)
posted by Erasmus
on Dec 19, 2002 -
What DOESN'T this guy do?
He writes novels
, and old school radio dramas
. In his spare time he records sci-fi inspired avant-garde electronica
, trippy ambient stuff
, and produces albums for other bands
. He meshes spoken word and noise-pop
, and with his old band, the unapologetic New Romantics Oo Oo Wa
, produced an absolute wanker masterpiece
, and ended up getting signed by the same guy
who gave the Smashing Pumpkins
their first record deal. Of late, he just turned up on Electric Lash: A Tribute to The Church
. Creative genius, or too damned much Starbucks?
posted by timsteil
on Nov 5, 2002 -
Are you writing a novel?
An article in the NY Times urging would-be authors to pack it in. Given the quoted stat (that 81% of Americans 'feel they have a book in them'), and extrapolating it for the rest of the world, that still means that there are roughly 12,887 unwritten books out there in me-fi land. Is this true? And has anyone actually written theirs down?
posted by jonathanbell
on Sep 30, 2002 -
Envy of the Literary World, or another Trust-Fund Novelist?
Following up on the discussion of J.T. LeRoy a few weeks ago, here's a story from the Observer about Nick McDonell, who's 18, just out of high school and about to publish a major novel (you may have read about him in the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" section). The catch is, his dad edits SI, his publisher is his godfather, and Hunter S. Thompson, who plugs the book, is a family friend. The book's not out yet, so the quality question is moot at this point. But still ... what gives with all this ridiculously young writers these days?
posted by risenc
on Jun 19, 2002 -
Typewriter Dependency (common disorder resulting from metaphysical thinking about punctuation)
[nyt reg req] "A recent survey of the top 1,000 living English-language authors finds that more than 80 percent own manual typewriters averaging 43 years in age and three broken functions, with a per-unit resale value of $4.75 and slipping. Yet in a questionnaire about their response if brigands should invade their homes and demand either their beat-up old manual typewriters or their spouses on pain of death, a whopping 96 percent wrote ''Spouse.''
posted by Voyageman
on Jun 9, 2002 -
may be one of the best novelists working today, yet not that many folks know his name. His books
and short stories
portray prosaic suburbia accurately and without condescension, and he has uncanny insight into the mind of the terminally adolescent. Not to mention an uproarious sense of humor. If the films of Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater, the music of Weezer, or Pete Bagge's
comics resonate with you, you may want to check out their literary equivalent. As an added treat, here's an audio
link of Perrota reading his work. For my money, this guy is one of our best American writers right now, although you wouldn't know it.
posted by jonmc
on Mar 2, 2002 -
Dr. Paul Linebarger
became a spy
for the U.S. Intelligence community because he was an expert in propaganda, psychological warfare, and the culture of China. In his other
secret life, however, he wrote some of the most wildly inventive
science fiction ever, forming a history of mankind and its Instrumentality
that spanned fifteen thousand years. To protect his identity, he published under the name Cordwainer Smith
posted by Hildago
on Feb 21, 2002 -
So, has Stephen King lost it?
This guy seems to think so. Some would say he never had it. I think that while this guy makes a few valid points, he goes overboard, and brings up many things that just seem petty and silly, like he's trying to over-prove his theory, and increase the word count of the article. What do you think? (Side note: I wouldn't be surprised if "Richard Blow" becomes the name of a victim in a future King novel...).
posted by sassone
on Feb 19, 2002 -
talks about the Japanese as the Ultimate Early Adaptors, mobile phones and schoolgirls. As usual he is obsessed with wrist watches.
posted by laukf
on Mar 31, 2001 -
how in the world did this article
, which basically repremands readers from making assumptions about and being intrusive into the private lives of memoirists, end by propositioning dave eggers? i mean really, wtf? the author of the piece, lorri gottlieb, ought to be ashamed of herself.
posted by palegirl
on Jun 16, 2000 -